First Air Dried Country Link with Qvue

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by hdflame, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    Bought 2 Boston Butts last week on sale to try making some air dried country sausage.  I made some with venison a couple months back for practice.  I'd always wanted to air dry some sausage, but was just unsure how to do it.

    I've been making my own fresh sausage for a while, but I was still buying my dried sausage.  This year I decided to talk to the man I've been getting my dried from.  It didn't seem so hard, so I made some venison first.  When it turned out OK, I tried some pork.

    My main concern was the extremely mild winter and warm temps we've been having.  When I saw that we were going to have a couple days cold weather, I got it ready.  Hung it up in my building with a fan blowing on it last Sunday night.  Since the temps were going to be in the 70's today, I went ahead and took it down.  Fried up some this morning and even after only about 5 days, it is pretty good.

    Sorry I didn't take any pics of the stuffing process, but here's the final product with a plate of eggs and grits!

    For some reason I'm having problems getting my pictures to show in this post, so I'm just posting the direct link to the Photobucket album.  Sorry the pictures won't show up otherwise!

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  2. johnnie walker

    johnnie walker Smoking Fanatic

    Bobby the sausages look good.

    As for posting pictures. In the Reply area, in the section with the smiley face, the square box on the left it says insert image. Click that and post your picture from your computer instead of photobucket.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's a great looking breakfast plate!
  4. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    LOOKS GOOOOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
  5. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    I thought in the past, I could post from my Photobucket account, but maybe not???  Anyway, thanks for the suggestion Johnnie!  Here's some pics.

    In the first pic, the sausage on the bottom didn't get as much air f low from the fan, so it's not quite as dry as the coil just above it.  I wanted to try some of both to see if it tasted any different....both was the same.


    This is a cross section of the piece that is not as dry.  The darker coil just above is a little drier.


    This the drier cross section....not much difference.  Notice the red on the string, that indicates the pieces that had extra sage and pepper.  I still wanted more sage, so I'm planting my own this year.


    The darker sausage is a little drier.


    More dry on top, less dry is the bottom two.



    Sausage, eggs over medium, grits with butter, and toast....mmmm.


    Now, I'll vac seal and freeze the rest.
  6. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the comments.

    I've got an idea to build me a special drying/stuffing building with a window a/c unit for next year.  We used to have good cold consistent weather from about the middle of Dec to the end of Feb.  This year has been exceptionally warm.

    I'm thinking of something about the size of a double outhouse or a little bigger.  I plan on making it look like an outhouse with half moons on the door, but I'll insulate all sides including the floor and roof plus put a small window a/c on the back side out of view.  The inside will have some counter top for grinding, mixing, and stuffing.  I'll also have hooks and dowels for hanging sausage.  I also plan on trying some sugar cured country hams like my grandpa used to do, so I'll make a couple of salt boxes too.

    Anyone have anything like this or have any suggestions?  I feel like I need a building where I can cool it down and not have t o rely on this inconsistent weather.

  7. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    Nice job. Depending on what you're going for, I dry my dry sausage for a couple weeks or more. Basically until it dries all the way through, then you have the hardened dried sausage. I press mine with my fingers now and then to make sure there's no hole in the center when it finishes drying. I like to take one with when I go fly fishing in the mountains!

  8. I am kind of curious, what kind of cure did you use? and also how did you prepare your pork for eating it raw? or do you plan of frying it b4 you eat it all the time?
  9. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    To be on the safe side when making any air dried or cured Landjaeger type hunters sausage you should use cure #2
  10. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    hdflame - I'd also suggest making your dried sausage leaner than your fresh because when it dries the 'aged' flavor takes over your spices unless you have less fat. The fat & 'aged' flavor can easily overpower your spice flavor. My next batch will have half the fat as the last one I did.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    For any Casual Lurkers and the Inexperienced....This style of DRY CURING can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS... If you do not know what you are doing, do not attempt this without obtaining detailed information on the subject!!! ....Carefull attention to the amount of Salt, Curing Salt ( Cure #2 ), Temperature and Humidity is required...JJ

    Your Sausages look great!...[​IMG]...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  12. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    That's pretty cool!  What type of spices do you put in yours?  Is it a country type seasoning or more like Italian?  How do you eat it...raw like that, or fried?

    I would have let mine go a full 7 days, but our weather was just too warm to risk letting 25 lbs of sausage go bad.  I'm going to make me a small building next year with a window a/c.  I don't use the pink salt in mine, just regular salt and seasoning.  I do like a lot of sage.

    BTW, I just ordered a Weston 7 lb stuffer with all steel gears!  Can't wait.  Got in sale for $40 off.  $139 wasn't bad for the 7 lb size with all steel gears.  Here's a video of the one I got.

  13. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love this breakfast yummy.
  14. You should be very careful IF your not using any type of cure with this type of sausage
  15. thoseguys26

    thoseguys26 Master of the Pit

    I like it raw like beef jerky. It's a great snack to chew on while out fly fishing. I'd say the final sausage is more on the 'country' flavor rather then Italian mainly because the 'aged' flavor stands out a lot. I like to keep my seasonings for dried sausage very simple. 
  16. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What temp are you drying at?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  17. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    I wouldn't suggest that anyone else try this cure if they're not comfortable with it.  This is only what I've done.  The man that has helped me with info on how to air dry this batch, has been making air dried country sausage for 50 years.  He was making it before the  government got involved with telling us how dangerous everything is! [​IMG]

    I initially thought that something special needed to be done too.  He said all he ever did was add his regular seasonings and the normal amount of salt was enough to preserve it through the drying process.

    He told me that so long as I had a couple of good cold days to get it started that it could stand some temps in the 60's or 70's so long as you kept flies away from it.  Years ago people didn't have any special temperature controlled rooms to cure their meats in, and they sometimes lost some meats.  Usually to flies.  I kept a fan blowing on this batch so that even if a fly got in to my building where I had it hanging, he couldn't have lit on it.

    I hope by next year to have a small dedicated building with a window a/c and fans.  That way I don't have to worry about it going bad.  He told me that so long as there were no off smells and no flies were allowed to get to it, it'd be fine.  As you can see from the pictures, I've already sampled it, and it was fine.  I would have liked to have let it age a couple more days, but the weather was going to be too warm for me to take a chance on 25 lbs of hard work going bad!  [​IMG]

    Next year I'm going to try some sugar cured country hams like my Grandpa used to do.

    BTW, I never eat any of this type sausage raw.  It is always thoroughly cooked.  I've bought dried sausage in the local groceries and I can tell that they use pink salt...cure #2.  It also has a different look and taste.  I actually like the taste of the country sausage without the #2 cure better.  The cure just makes it have more of a processed taste, for lack of a better word to describe it.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  18. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    I just got an email saying my new sausage stuffer would be here tomorrow! [​IMG]   Now I've got to make some more sausage!  

    I hope they run Boston Butts on sale soon.[​IMG]

    I'll try to post a review after I've had a chance to use it.
  19. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Interesting thought on the drying shack. At my dads and his buddy's hunting cabin in Wisconsin we built a makeshift walk in cooler using a big AC unit too cool it. We bypassed the units internal stat installed a band heater on the compressor, and controlled it with a line voltage stat. SO i don't see why you couldn't build a drying shack the same way. 

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